Well, okay...so admittedly I can't say that I necessarily relished sweltering, nor did I love sweating profusely into my beloved vintage Pucci silk blouse. But, having said that, after just two days (is that all? It seems like a lot longer at this point) of covering the spring 2005 collections, Yeohlee's reality based show, shown not in a polite air conditioned venue but on a gritty New York subway platform, on real people with real bodies, was a breath of fresh air and provided an interesting contrast and point of view.
Her chicly neutral toned architectural and sculptural shapes, which artuflly mix form and function and are perfect for 'urban nomads' (as she likes to call us), were presented in the hotter than hot subway platform located at 42nd street and 6th avenue- directly under the Bryant Park Tents. I even spotted Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was escorted by a team of secret service police, heading down under to make sure the event proceeded without a hitch. (Or of course, he might have just coincidentally been there at the same time).
With assorted a list editors and buyers in attendance, an accomplished and diversified round up of 'models' (including some of Yeohlee's best friends and muses) showed off her new collection. While the group included no professional mannequins, the team on hand was nonetheless great looking and well suited to the task. Included was the tall and beautiful Atoosa Rubenstein (editor in chief of Seventeen), fab looking Constance White (fashion director for Ebay), tv fashion personality turned mystery writer Elsa Klensch (looking especially good), and Farrah Fawcett (yup!).
Even the accompanying music made quite a statement. Instead of a predictable soundtrack put together by a high paid musical expert, a group of street musicians did their thing, high- spiritedly banging on their drums for an energetic city beat. Speaking of reality, Ray Kelly or not- as a skeptical and cautious native New Yorker, I must admit I kept looking down at my feet just to make sure my bag was still there.
Thus far, the first few days of shows have been filled with some pretty great clothes- just the kinds of things American designers are relied upon for. Standouts include Patrick Robinson for Perry Ellis, who was going for a light hearted and romantic feeling- something that would be a welcome relief from fall's heavy tweeds; Carolina Herrera's luxe sportif Riviera homage; Tracy Reese's pretty printed dresses with tiny cardigans, wonderful jackets, or patterned coats; Sebastian Pons' crisp linen shirts and beautifully cut and tailored pieces (forget the overly ethnic and costumey references); and Jeffrey Chow's perfectly proportioned, beautifully fabricated, and wonderfully accessorized collection which embodies the idea of youthful couture. Quite frankly, I coveted every piece and would 'kill' for the amazing jeweled encrusted red and white printed coat that served as the finale.
And while I didn't actually get to see Bill Blass (I was "uninvited" owing to what was perceived as a "mean spirited" review of last season's collection), I did see the show nonetheless. How? Well, there are large screens througout the main lobby of the tents, which air the collections as they are unfolding. It all looked perfectly nice and wearable (some pretty dresses) if not a bit uninspired. The best part of the afternoon though, was running into the colorful Zandra Rhodes, a close friend of Michael's, who was here from London to attend the Bill Blass show. The diminuitive British fashion designer was certainly hard to miss with her shocking pink hair, clad in a mix of her signature colorful prints which were accessorized with oversized mirrored pins, earrings, and assorted safety pins.
Harrison & Shriftman: "harrass & stiff them"...
And speaking of mean spirited, the girls of Harrison & Shriftman public relations have found new ways to live up to their reputation of "harrass & stiff them" a slogan we coined for them last season for the miserable way they treat some of us. This time we are sent an invite to the Lacoste event by messenger but when we got there our names where not on any list. When finally we located the "headphoned madame"--whose self importance was only surpassed by her rudeness toward us -- she would not allow us to substitute another writer who was standing there for Marilyn who could not attend the event. "No substitutions permitted" she boldly announced to us. So we were forced to leave. All we can say is with her limited people skills, maybe she would be better suited working as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant!
Posted by Marilyn Kirschner with an additional item by Ernest Schmatolla